Vladimir Putin, the ex-Russian President and now Prime Minister of indeterminate term, has been in the news a lot lately. Recently, it’s mostly because he’s been out of sight from his constituents; a fact causing Joe Public to be kind of concerned about it.
They, like others around the world, are worried about their leader; vetting multiple scenarios about his health, the state of the republic and even the paternity of another possible love-child. I think the reasons for the absence are a lot more mundane, clinical and a whole lot more obvious.
On Monday, there was a joint celebration in Moscow and Crimea commemorating the one year anniversary of the country’s dubious referendum to secede from Ukraine and return to Russia. There, evidence of Putin’s “problem” was readily on hand for all to see.
Sprinkled around Moscow were portraits of him in all his glory; celebrating his many, individual facets. On display, we had Putin, the leader; Putin, the aviator; Putin, the ship’s master and commander; and most intriguing, Putin the karate master, who was depicted as sending a side kick right into the face of Barrack Obama. Ouch!
In what I thought was a canny, political move, there was also Putin, the everyday Crimean in plain tee-shirt emblazoned with the national colors. But my favorite and the one that got me was Putin the strongman; check it out.
Now, I’m not a psychologist but I’m going to take a shot and make a snap diagnosis without even interviewing the subject. Vladimir Putin, the leader of the un-free world, has a borderline personality disorder manifesting in paranoiac episodes coupled with low self-esteem issues. In short, Putin needs continual love and reassurance; as well as a block of therapy with licensed professionals.
Truthfully, is it any wonder? Isolated from other world leaders with no one to call friend and hated by many even in his homeland, the Russian strongman, biceps bulging if nowhere but in his own mind, has taken much heat these past years and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Global leaders struggle to peg him but it’s hard to do so because he’s a complicated man; a complicated man and no one understands him but his woman. (Cue that wah-wah guitar!)
Speaking of which, it even fits my profile that there’s a history of marital strife. He’s divorced his wife of many years for a younger woman; as many middle-aged or senior men do as they hit that slide of marriage. For the 62 year-old Putin, the successful wooing of 31 year-old Alina Kabaeva validates his celebrated image of physical prowess to the world and to himself. Besides which, she’s a gymnast and well…I don’t where else to go with that.
In Crimea, it seems at least on the public face, Putin is adored. And that’s what he wants; what he craves and what he needs to function. Having bought into the biography, Crimean’s see him as father, savior, leader and giver of all things; a characterization he strives hard to achieve.
Risking his neck for his countrymen, he sees himself as the self-proclaimed Russian Bear; the man’s man and the only one daring to open up a can of whip-ass on the West. And the West has moved predictably, collectively, along as his nemesis.
Instead of sanctions, the West could be nurturing; give both praise and timeouts, alternatingly, in efforts to curb some of this bad behavior that his condition brings to the forefront and do what it can to assist him in bolstering his self-image. Cancel his perceived inadequacies as you would continually praise and uplift a recalcitrant teen bent on self-destruction.
It sounds good except this “teen” has at his disposal one of the most powerful forces on the planet, the Russian Army and he isn’t afraid to use it to set a tone of his own superiority. We’ve only recently found out that during the referendum last year, he had his finger on the button; a stark admission of pubescent, paranoid petulance. If I can’t get what I want, I’ll just blow up the world! NYAH-NYAH!!
Meanwhile moving forward, it should be obvious that Putin sees himself as one badass motherf***er, regardless of how the world sees him and regardless of how all of his actions play out on the global stage. And maybe personally he is; who knows? But he’s not the only needy one out there; remember North Korea? Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!
I see the West as parents of a big family; a family of bickering, backstabbing global siblings bent on each other’s aggravation and consternation, if not outright destruction. And at the top of the list of these problem-children are the big brother and bully of the family, Vladimir and his bunch. If sanctions don’t work soon, I’m thinking maybe we should call Dr. Phil.
And where is that wah-wah?!